Sleep and the second trimester
On average, you will get seven and a half hours of sleep per night during the second trimester of pregnancy.
Pregnancy affects you in many ways. One of the effects is a change in your sleeping patterns. Being pregnant is tiring for your body, causing physical discomfort and emotional stress. These two factors can lead to sleep problems when combined. However, you need to ensure you get enough sleep during pregnancy, as sleep deprivation affects you and the baby. Additionally, it may also impact labor and delivery.
Like most other pregnant women, you will find it easier to sleep longer in the second trimester than in the first and third trimesters. Your hormones at this time are stabilizing and giving you a break from breast tenderness and morning sickness. The baby is not yet big enough to significantly interfere with your sleep. The uterus has also moved some distance from the bladder, reducing the frequency of your bathroom trips.
On average, you will get seven and a half hours of sleep per night during the second trimester. Experts recommend sleeping soundly during this time as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. You should make it a priority to store up energy reserves for the third trimester, which is more taxing.
The second trimester has a few problems, including swollen legs, leg cramps, loosening ligaments, and weight gain. These can lead to lower back pain as the pelvic area starts to loosen up. Headaches and migraines are also common, but be sure you mention them to your caregiver to rule out more severe problems.
Your nasal passages may get blocked as the baby continues to grow, a factor that contributes to obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. You may also be among the women who experience heartburn and constipation.
The importance of sleep during the second trimester
The second trimester provides you with the best chance to have better quality sleep. It's the period just before the baby comes, and it's essential to make sleep a priority. Studies link poor sleep quality in the second trimester to depression, stress, gestational diabetes, and lower quality of life. Sleep disorders can be risk factors for gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, and preeclampsia.
You should practice healthy sleepy hygiene and manage your sleep conditions in the second trimester to help you beat insomnia.
Sleeping position: During the second trimester, the left-side sleeping position is considered the best. This is because it allows for unrestricted blood flow to the kidneys and baby. If you have trouble finding a comfortable position, a recliner could come in handy.
Stomach sleeping may also work for you during the first part of the second trimester. However, the growing bump may soon make it uncomfortable.
If you’re a natural side sleeper, consider using strategically placed pillows to avoid rolling over to your back. Pregnancy pillows or wedge pillows can create a more comfortable sleeping position for you.
Sleeping products: Avoid taking medications like sleeping pills when you’re pregnant unless your doctor advises them. However, you can consider other sleeping aids, mineral supplements, and light stretching to reduce the discomfort of leg cramps. Research also shows that the scent of lavender may help you fall asleep easily. Other options include guided relaxation yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acupuncture.
Create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom by using a white noise machine or an eye mask. It's also essential to find a supportive mattress.
Sleep etiquette: Save the bed for sleep only and keep a regular waking and sleeping schedule. For better sleep, prepare yourself by putting away your laptop and smartphone an hour before bedtime. The blue light from these gadgets tricks your mind into thinking it's still daytime, reducing the quality of sleep. Consider replacing TV time with listening to music or reading a book. You may also practice meditation, prenatal massage, and relaxation techniques.
Although you won’t need to visit the bathroom often in your second trimester, consider drinking your liquids earlier before bedtime or during the day. Avoid caffeinated drinks as they tend to keep you awake, check your food portions, and avoid lying down immediately after a meal. You also need to keep spicy foods at a minimum to reduce acid reflux and heartburn.
During the second trimester, your energy levels increase, and you should take advantage of this to get morning or afternoon exercise. This will be helpful in dealing with fatigue and depression. Exercise will also help to strengthen your core, reduce back pain, and pave the way for smoother labor.